Asymmetry

Your Future Self
June 19, 2018
The Marshmallow Test
July 31, 2018

Why is it that life often feels hard? That there are many of life obstacles to overcome, and sometimes they can get on top of you. That you feel there are a lot of issues to deal with, but not too many easy wins? Life is hard…isn’t it?

Researchers have proven that our brains are hard-wired or predisposed to thinking about the issues that face us, rather than the momentum that we have behind us. This manifests in a number of ways – It often feels like our sports team gets the toughest calls, our work department gets the least resources, our siblings got the most attention, the list is endless.

Our thoughts are asymmetrical. We dwell much more on life’s issues, battles & hurdles than we do on the beneficial elements in our lives.

Why do we think like this? There is a very good reason– it’s because life’s obstacles demand our attention if we are to overcome them. Easy wins have no resistance and require no effort. It also follows that the more driven you are, the higher achiever you want to be, the more obstacles you will identify that you have to overcome, exacerbating the effect.

A good analogy comes from riding a bike. When I’m riding my bike and I’m battling a headwind, I’m intently aware of that struggle every single minute of my ride. But, finally when I get to turn around and ride with the wind at my back, I’ll only appreciate the ease of my ride for a minute and then it quickly falls from my mind.

This way of thinking serves a purpose, it propels us forward and helps us overcome obstacles as they arise.

The problems in front of us demand our attention because they have to be overcome, so we notice them much more than the wind at our back.

The message? We should take time out, every day, to reflect on the tailwinds that are carrying us forward, to reflect on all that we have that we should be grateful for. When we take the time to reflect on them, we gain a more positive and balanced view of the world and our lives. Often we take these things for granted and become absorbed in life’s struggles. But if we are not careful, these thoughts can get on top of us over time.

Do you take the time to reflect on your tailwinds?